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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:46 AM
Original message
Libyan Rebels Don’t Really Add Up to an Army
BENGHAZI, Libya — Late Monday afternoon, as Libyan rebels prepared another desperate attack on the eastern oil town of Brega, a young rebel raised his rocket-propelled grenade as if to fire. The town’s university, shimmering in the distance, was far beyond his weapon’s maximum range. An older rebel urged him to hold fire, telling him the weapon’s back-blast could do little more than reveal their position and draw a mortar attack.

The younger rebel almost spat with disgust. “I have been fighting for 37 days!” he shouted. “Nobody can tell me what to do!”

...

And their numbers are small. Officials in the rebels’ transitional government have provided many different figures, sometimes saying 10,000 or men are under arms in their ranks.

But a small fraction actually appear at the front each day — often only a few hundred. And some of the men appear without guns, or with aged guns that have no magazines or ammunition.

...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/world/africa/07rebels...
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe if we send some troops we can help
:eyes:
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. Which Western Official will express 'Surprise' first? Nt
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. They're really just protesters who took up arms to defend themselves
(and some of them don't even have weapons).
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. What a beautiful FICTION. All the facts contradict this
There are piles of documents in the public domain on the evolution of the East Libya protest/rebel
movement. There has been armed factional conflict ongoing for the last several year -- with US intelligence supporting the Gaddafi regime in controlling what was at that time being described as
"Jihadist" insurrection and recruitment.

East Libya is notorious as a hotbed of armed insurrections, coup plots and assassination attempts.

Certainly there are lay people and students on the fringe wanting to be part of history. But the core of the rebel movement are guys who are familiar with real weapons.

I have never seen so many advanced weapon and massive firepower in the hands of rebels, anywhere in the world.

Unless we shouldn't believe our LYING EYES.


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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. It's longer than that
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 12:50 PM by jakeXT
Military action

Three weeks later, on 8 May 1984, NFSL's commandos took part in a daring attack on Gaddafi's headquarters at Bab al-Aziziyah barracks near Tripoli in an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The attack was thwarted when the group's leader, Ahmed Ibrahim Ihwas, was captured when trying to enter Libya at the Tunisian border. Although the coup attempt failed and Gaddafi escaped unscathed, dissident groups claimed that some eighty Libyans, Cubans, and East Germans had been killed in the operation. However, some 2,000 people were arrested in Libya following the attack, and eight were hanged publicly.

NFSL continued its efforts to topple Gaddafi and formed the Libyan National Army (LNA), after a group of soldiers, taken prisoner by Chad during the Chadian-Libyan conflict, defected from the Libyan Army and joined the NFSL in 1987. The LNA was later evacuated from Chad after the President Hissène Habré was overthrown by one of his former officers, Idriss Déby, who was backed by Gaddafi.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Front_for_the_Sal...


But how spontaneous was this rebellion?
The Congressional Research Service in a 1987 analysis of the Libyan opposition wrote:

“Over twenty opposition groups exist outside Libya. The most important in 1987 was the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF) formed in October 1981….The LNSF claimed responsibility for the daring attack on Gaddafi’s headquarters at Bab al Aziziyah on May 8, 1984. Although the coup attempt failed and Gaddafi escaped unscathed, dissident groups claimed that some eighty Libyans, Cubans and East Germans perished.”

Significantly the CRS cited various “sources” as early as 1984 which claimed “. . . the United States Central Intelligence Agency trained and supported the LNSF before and after the May 8 operation”.

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/03/dennis_...
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Agree. Did not want to go into longer history with someone totally lacking in knowledge
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Unlike that other rebel army in the 1770s who... gasp... fought the British.
"One if by land, two if by sea."

Gee, they didn't even have the proper communications equipment, either.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. Don't worry, we'll be sending in our Army in the relatively near future. n/t
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. error
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 01:47 PM by Distant Observer
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
8. Rebels Fail Screen Test
Meanwhile there’s a little problem: our cute little rebel friends can’t fight worth a damn. They’re fleeing again. Again! US and NATO air stacked over the beaches like commuter flights from LAX to SFO at the start of a three-day weekend, satellite data bounced down to every part-time Che Guevara picnicking on a sand dune between “battles”—and they still can’t fight. It seems that some Qaddafi loyalists, the dirty fascists, are actually firing back. Well, it’s clear these guys didn’t get the memo at all. The script clearly calls for our baby rebs to roar across the beach from Benghazi to Tripoli and be welcomed by the best-looking available local girls. NATO probably has C-130s full of rose petals on standby at airports across Europe.

You can’t help imagining that Tom Cruise producer character from Tropic Thunder stomping out onto the sand dunes in Libya and yell, “Cut!” like an angry director. “Who’s firing those weapons? Who told you to fire? ‘Qaddafi’? Well let me tell you Mister Rambo, Qaddafi isn’t paying for this production! Somebody find this Qaddafi and punch him in the face for me!”

You can see mission creep turning into mission zoom, mission flood, day by day. First the idea was, we’d take out a few of Qaddafi’s heavy armor because that’s what was holding the rebels back. Fine—smoking tanks all over the desert. Oh, but he also has planes, and that’s no fair because the rebels don’t have planes (or they do but they keep shooting down their own planes) and that’s sooooo unfair. So boom, the whole country’s a no-fly zone and we crisp any fighter that tries to take off.

Now it’s clear that these SUV rebels won’t fight if there’s any opposition at all. And I mean AT ALL. Utterly worthless troops. Don’t tell me they’re outgunned. They’re overgunned, if anything, with heavy Soviet machineguns, ZSU-23s, RPGs, Grads, and all-you-can-stall of North Africa’s most important weapon, the Toyota pickup. The Cong kicked ass against real troops with a lot less. God, can you imagine what one VC battalion would do in Libya right now? I say we give’em a shot, call for volunteers at the closest Ho Chi Minh City unemployment center, and tag along. What a movie that’d make!

http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-blog-day-11-rebels-fai...
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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. that was funny nt
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. The basic question I keep asking, and nobody answers, who are the rebels?
There are many shifting answers, numbers, and theories. I've also read that there are fewer than 2000 rebels as well....

If so, this is just a violent opposition group really.

It feels as though we're entering into a low level civil war that's been ongoing for decades between disgruntled tribes in the east vs. Gaddafi. I'm no Gaddafi lover, just like I found Saddam Hussein despicable. But this action is crazy - to get involved with every tin-pot dictator whose "rebels" take to the streets in protest. Yes, the dictator takes messy steps to put it down. But does this mean we go after every dictator that does this? (While conveniently looking away when Bahrain, KSA and others do the same)....

I know those that have been posting on the daily Libya threads often bring up anecdotal evidence of "who" these people are, but the more objective reports seem to be indicating we don't know shit.
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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Have you read this one ?
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 03:06 PM by jakeXT
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. That's a great article. Thank you so much for posting it!
Do you have any links that indicate how many are actually participating in the rebellion? The article certainly points to a hodgepodge of groups, and that seems to be backed up by reporters on the scene, but do we have any numbers yet on how many and/or an approximation of numbers from each group?
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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. unfortunately not
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Logical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
15. kick
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